David Hamilton was a British photographer born in London, whose education was abruptly interrupted by the breakout of World War II. As a young evacuee, he was sent to Dorset to avoid the air-raid attacks on London during the war.
Upon the end of the war, a young Hamilton returned to London, continuing with his education before moving to France. There, his artistic nous was noticed after he took work in an architecture office.
By age 20 he moved to Paris, where he would work with Peter Knapp, graphic designer of ELLE magazine. His reputation began to grow, and success would soon follow, with Hamilton eventually being offered a position working for Queen Magazine in London.
He left is position in ELLE, now working as an art director for the London-based publication. After this, he moved back to Paris, securing work as the art director of Printemps, the largest department store in the city.
It was here that he became a commercial photographer, with his work becoming highly regarded for its dream-like, grainy style. Various magazines commissioned pieces from Hamilton, with the photographer creating his trademark style during the 1960s.
Much of this early work featured young models as the subject of his photographs, and the pieces are not without controversy. Many of the images depicted scantily clad young women, some of who were even naked, leading to heated discussions about the moral nature of the photographs.
It’s long been a hotly debated topic in the art world, particularly for older pieces taken in very different time periods, and one that will likely continue for some time. While the debate is certainly one worth having, Hamilton’s work remains timeless.
Take a look at some of his work from the 1970s.